Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies Research Group

PhD Students

Mohammed Alamro

Mohammed Alamro   

PhD: Step-change carbon materials able to achieve high CO2 capacity and selectivity at practical flue gas temperatures.

Supervisors: Dr Chenggong Sun, Prof. Hao Liu and Dr Xin Liu

Research Summary
To address the major issues associated with the-state-of-art carbon-based materials for CO2 capture, which typically require the costly cooling of flue gas streams down to ambient or even lower temperatures, the proposed research aims to develop a new generation of carbon materials that are able to achieve high capture capacities with high selectivity at practical or realistic temperatures. Major objectives include: to undertake scoping study to examine the effect of the chemistry of different precursor feedstocks on CO2 adsorption performance and related temperature sensitivity of the carbon materials. Also, to examine the efficacy of different carbonisation and/or activation strategies in improving the CO2 capture performance of carbon materials at high temperatures. Moreover, to assess the potentials of different surface functionalisation technologies for improved high temperature CO2 adsorption. In addition, to determine the governance of the precursor chemistry and the surface properties of the resultant carbon materials on CO2 adsorption, leading to the establishment of best preparation strategies for carbon materials with high CO2 capacity and selectivity at practical flue gas temperatures (40-50 oC).
 
 
 

Carla Martin Clave2

Carla Martin Clave

PhD: EngD inImpact of impurities and salt structures on environmental risks of H2 storage in salt caverns.

Supervisors:  Prof. Colin Snape and Dr. Alec Marshall 

Research Summary
Geological storage of gas is not only an effective means to mitigate CO2 emissions by injecting CO2 underground, but also an excellent way to accommodate fluctuations in energy peak demands by storage of CH4 and H2. The main aim of this project is to analyse the impurity content in salt rock formations, used for underground gas storage, and its influence on rheological behaviour and deformation to improve the stability of salt caverns. The research involve geomechanical tests by using such rock salt from salt mines and synthetic samples.
 
 
 

Manlio salas castillo

Manlio Salas Castillo

PhD: Solar energy / Design and development of novel smart window for electricity generation and daylight control.

Supervisors: Dr. Yupeng Wu and Prof. Hao Liu 

Research Summary
A novel static concentrating photovoltaic (PV) system is designed and proposed, being suitable for use building integration as windows or glazing façades. The developed smart Concentrating PV (CPV) system is lightweight, low cost and able to generate electricity. Additionally, this system automatically responds to climate by varying the balance of electricity generated from the PV with the amount of solar light and heat permitted through it into the building. It therefore offers the potential to contribute to, and control, energy consumption within buildings.
 
 
 

Shinta Dewi

Shinta Rosalia Dewi

PhD: Extraction of bioactive compounds from cacao pod husks.

Supervisors:  Dr. Eleanor BinnerProf. Derek IrvineDr. Rebbeca Ferrari

Research Summary
Cacao pod husks are the predominant waste stream (or co-product) from cocoa processing, accounting for 70% of total weight of cacao fruit. The cacao pods contain promising bioactive compounds, such as phenolic and pigment compounds. Thus, valorisation of cacao pod husks will be investigated via extraction of bioactive compounds by using Microwave-Assisted Extraction.
 
 
 

nidia diaz perez

Nidia Diaz Perez

PhD: Assessment of Products of Different Thermal Processing from Digestate.

Supervisors:  Dr. John Robinson and Prof. Rachel Gome

Research Summary
Thermal processes, such as Microwave Pyrolysis, Conventional Pyrolysis and Hydrothermal processing, will be analysed as potential treatments to implement at the post-digestion stage in anaerobic digestion systems. The main drive to undertake this research project is to assess the viability of increasing the value of this ‘waste’, the digestate, by examining potential uses of the liquid product from different thermal processing, and the possible integration of these technologies with Anaerobic Digestion Systems. 
 
 
 

Kun do 2

Kun Du

PhD: Development of a solar based thermoelectric generator (STEG) with phase change material (PCM) heat sink in hot climate.

Supervisors:  Dr. Yupeng Wu and Prof. Hao Liu

Research Summary
Due to the energy and environment crisis, the solar power generation technologies have been extensively studied and applied in various countries. With regard to solar energy conversion, solar-based thermos-electrical generator (STEG) with PCM heat sink can be applied in areas with hot daytime and cool nighttime to meet the electricity demand. This project aims to assess the possibility of solar based thermoelectric generator (STEG) with phase change material as heat sink applied in area with extreme hot daytime and cool nighttime for electricity generation and investigate the performance optimization of STEG. 
 
 
 
1. Ikechukwu Ejim

Ikechukwu Ejim Fabian

PhD: Modeling and Smulation of Biomass Gasification using Artificial Neural Networks.

Supervisors: Prof. Hao Liu and  Dr. Cheng-gong Sun

Research Summary
The depleting nature of the atmosphere, global warning, and the use of biomass as an alternative source of energy has is the driving force of this research. It focuses on modelling and simulation the gasification processes of different biomass using the ANNs Design Simulator and exploring the different available numerical tools to replicate a specific type of gasifier (20 KW Downdraft Gasifier). Several physical, chemical, thermodynamic, and kinetic data of biomass that constitute a typical gasifying process are determined in experimental analysis and injected into the process simulator for a more generalized model.
 
 
 

Hao Guo2

Hao Gao 

PhD: Building Information Modelling (BIM)-based Building Energy Modelling.

Supervisors:  Prof. Yupeng Wu and Dr. Christian Koch

Research Summary
This project is going to adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) to Building Energy Modelling (BEM) for optimisation of building design and energy consumption. This project will explore the potential and deficits of the modelling, analysis and optimisation of energy efficient buildings using BIM to BEM methodology, through case studies.
 
 
 

Fatih Gulec

Fatih Gulec

PhD: Assessing the applicability of chemical looping combustion for fluid catalytic cracking unit.

Supervisors:  Prof. Colin Snape and Dr. Cheng-gong Sun

Research Summary
Heavy industries such as cement, iron-steel, petrochemical and oil refineries are collectively responsible for approximately 22 % of global CO2 emissions. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies have been developed to mitigate these emissions, with three different methodologies established; (1) Oxy-combustion, (2) Pre-combustion, and (3) Post-combustion. In addition, more recently, chemical looping combustion (CLC) has also begun to be attracting attention as an alternative process for CO2 capture. In this study, the applicability of CLC for a Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) unit of oil refineries is being assessed as an innovative approach for CO2 capture.
 
 
 
Wayne Wai Hon Leung

Wayne Wai Hon Leung

PhD: Hydrothermal Carbonisation of Wastes for Bio-coal Production.

Supervisors: Prof. Colin Snape, Dr Clement Uguna, Dr Andrew Gill, Dr William Meredith

Research Summary 
Around 93,000 tonnes clothing waste are sent to landfill every year. Therefore, my research is investigating the conversion of cotton and mixed (polyester and cotton) clothing waste to high energy density bio-coal through hydrothermal carbonisation process. During hydrothermal carbonisation of mixed clothing waste, terephthalic acid also obtain (a valuable product for polyester remanufacturing). The terephthalic acid produced through hydrothermal carbonisation process usually contains some dyes and other impurities. In order to improve the purity of terephthalic acid, absorption is applied to remove them.
 
 
 
Ahmed Ibrahim

Ahmed Ibrahim

PhD: Development of a Novel catalyst for Hydrodeoxygenation of Bio-oil.

Supervisors: Dr. Cheng-gong Sun, Prof. Colin Snape, Prof. Hao Liu, Xin Liu, and Dr Clement Uguna

Research Summary 
Catalytic hydrodeoxygenation (HDO) is becoming more important industrially due to the urgent need for the conversion of oxygen-rich biomass into a renewable hydrocarbon energy sources. However, the traditional HDO process conditions using external hydrogen are rather severe (300 – 400°C, 5-10 MPa), and these also lead to rapid catalyst deactivation.  In situ hydrogen generation for HDO  can be used for upgrading bio-oil via hydrogen donor solvents and so avoiding high hydrogen pressures. The nature of catalyst used and reaction conditions are being investigated to enhance the generation of hydrogen from the hydrogen donor solvent for HDO.Image: find attached
 
 
 
Mengbin Li

Mengbin Li

PhD: Synthesis and characterization of porous biocarbon materials for advanced applications.

Supervisors: Dr Chenggong SunProf. Hao Liu, and Prof. Colin Snape

Research Summary
My research is focused on the synthesis of porous biocarbon materials from using lignocellulosic biomass via hydrothermal carbonization (HTC). Textural characteristics will be analysed to examine the pathways to further functionalize and enhance the adsorptive property for target applications.
 
 
 

Liu Dingming2

Dingming Liu

PhD: Embedded systems for integrated Photovoltaics in Rural Buildings.

Supervisors:  Dr. Yupeng Wu and Dr. Robin Wilson

Research Summary
My research is mainly focusing on evaluating the solar transmittance, U-value and solar heat gain coefficient of the developed building integrated PV window systems by industry, and also evaluating building performance (lighting, thermal and energy) with integration of the developed advanced thin film solar PV systems and monitoring system performances.
 
 
 
Wei Li

Wei Li

PhD: Simulation and Experimental Characterization of Water Effect on Methane Adsorption in Shale through Kerogen.

Supervisors: Prof Colin Snape and Dr Lee Stevens

 
 

Abubakar Haruna Mashi

Abubakar Haruna Mashi

PhD: Understanding of Catalysts Deactivation via coke formation in fluid catalytic cracking (FCC).

Supervisors:  Prof. Colin Snape and Dr. William Meredith

Research Summary
Fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) is the most important and complicated process in petroleum refining, which is widely used to catalytically cracked heavy petroleum fractions into gasolines, light olefins and cycle oils at 480–550 ◦C. During the process, the catalyst deactivation via coke is one of the major concerns in petroleum refineries since there is heavy loss of catalyst after every run. Also, characterization of coke is still remaining as a great challenge to researchers due to its complex nature of composition and structure along with its insolubility factor. Thus, for better understanding of the chemistry of the FCC process we should have deep knowledge of nature and composition of feeds, structure of catalysts and nature of coke. This understanding helps in optimizing the process parameters of the reactor for a desired product slate.
 
 
 
Murtaza Mohammadi

Murtaza Mohammadi

PhD: Quantifying transmission of pollutants between indoor and outdoor environment using numerical modelling.

Supervisors: Prof Hao Liu, Prof. Yupeng Wu, and Dr John Calautit

Research Summary
Outdoor pollutants significantly contribute towards indoor pollution, its strength depending on various parameters including ventilation strategy, meteorological conditions, building design, outdoor sources etc. The aim of my project is to develop a methodology to quantify the transmission of pollutants between the two environments in an urban setting, using numerical modelling techniques. The model will help designers and planners to better estimate pollution levels and adopt strategies to limit personal exposure.
 
 
 

David Nichols

David Nichols

PhD: Modification of Biomass Ash by Aluminosilicate Additives.

Supervisors:  Prof. Colin Snape and Dr. David Large 

Research Summary
My research concerns the use of mineral additives such as clay and coal fly ash to reduce the release of gaseous inorganic metals during the combustion of biomasses. I have predominantly been experimenting with olive cake biomass, due to its high potassium content, and kaolin clay. Two methods of combustion have been used, slow heating in an oven and fast heating in a drop tube furnace. The effectiveness of the additives at reducing release of inorganics can be deduced by quantifying the inorganics still present in the ash after combustion. XRF and ICP-MS have been used for this. In addition, the association between the problematic metal species and the additives can be examined by SEM-EDX.
 
 
 

Chris Powell

Chris Powell 

PhD: High Sulphur Loaded Activated Carbon Regeneration.

Supervisors:  Dr John RobinsonDr Will Meredith, Dr Andrew Gill

Research Summary
Using regenerated activated carbon can provide significant cost savings and reduce the carbon footprint associated with the production of new activated carbon and the emissions associated with transportation. A significant amount of this spent carbon that is now beneficial to regenerate has a high sulphur loading, which is not possible to process using conventional thermal regeneration techniques. Microwave heating is being investigated as an alternative technology for regeneration, and one that can process high sulphur materials. The goal is to identify mechanisms of devolatilisation and mass transfer during the microwave regeneration process, and to establish opportunities and limitations for re-use of a range of carbon-based adsorbents. The project will also investigate acid/alkali and washing in combination with microwave regeneration.
 
 
 

John Ryan

John Ryan

PhD: Polymer from Pyrolysis Products.

Supervisors:  Dr. Eleanor BinnerProf. Derek IrvineDr. John Robinson

Research Summary
My research focuses on the use of a novel liquid pyrolysis system to produce pyrolysis liquids with different compositions. These pyrolysis liquids are characterised and turned into polymers that have a range of potential applications.
 
 
 

Mattero Spanu 

Mattero Spanu

PhD: Carbon Capture and Storage and Cleaner Fossil Energy.

Supervisors:  Prof Colin Snape and Dr David Scurr 

Research Summary
In order to meet increasing legislative drives, fuel is constantly changing, for example, the move to ultra-low sulphur diesel (ULSD) and the introduction of biofuel. The result of this has been to change solubilising power of a fuel and its ability to “carry” material from whatever source in the fuel system. In order to meet emission standards, the engine manufacturers have also introduced high pressure common rail injection systems delivering fuel to the injectors at ever increasing pressures and temperatures with fine filters to protect the systems. Analyse of the nature of material that deposits in such filters and characterising the deposits.
 
 
 
Diret Tang'an

Diret Bitrus Tang’an

PhD: Remediation of hydrocarbon contaminated soils.

Supervisors: Dr. Eleanor Binner, Dr. John Robinson and Dr. Mohamed Adam

Research Summary
The rise in the world’s energy demand has led to an increase in oil and gas exploitation and exploration activities. During these processes, crude oil and refined product spillages occur resulting to major environmental problems such as land pollution. Total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) is identified as a key land contaminant from these spillages that has led to the destruction of flora and posed severe health risks to human inhabitants. My research is focussed on carrying out a robust and systematic remediation technology evaluation for TPH removal from contaminated soils based on efficiency, energy requirement, speed, environmental impact, cost etc.
 
 
 
Ali Ahmed Taqi

Ali Ahmed Taqi

PhD: Mathematical modelling to understand microwave extraction in biomass-solvent systems.

Supervisors: Dr John Robinson, Dr Eleanor Binner and Dr Etienne Farcot

Research Summary
This research employs mathematical modelling to understand mechanisms underpinning the action of microwaves in biomass-solvent systems. Microwave heating is widely believed to enhance biomass processing and extraction of high added-value compounds, but it is unknown why this is the case. Therefore, filling this gap will not only allow predicting the outcomes of empirical studies, but will also pave the way towards efficient engineering design of large-scale systems.
 
 
 
George Thomas

George Thomas   

PhD: Fluidity Development of Coking Coal  

Supervisor: Prof. Colin Snape

Research Summary
ponsored by TATA Steel and the EPSRC Centre of Doctoral training in CCS and Cleaner Fossil Energy, this research project is focused upon studying the fluidity development of coking coal. Metallurgical coke is a porous carbonaceous material used to reduce iron ore in the blast furnace along with supporting the metal burden. Good coking coals generate viscoelastic properties upon heating which determine the quality of the coke, such as porosity, coke strength and reactivity. To characterise such fluid events, high temperature proton nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and rheometry will be used to understand how coals interact in blends.  
 
 
 

Rosen Trichkov

Rosen Trichkov

PhD: CO2 Conversion to Methanol and Integration with the Ironmaking Process: Modelling and Cost Analysis (with Tata Steel).

Supervisors:   Dr Ioanna Dimitriou and Dr Robin Irons

Research Summary
My research relates to the improvement of existing carbon capture and utilisation technology as well as the development of new methods that are more economically viable options. Specifically, I will be carrying out a techno-economic analysis in relation to capturing of CO2 and converting it to useful products such as liquid hydrocarbon fuels and methanol. In order to achieve this, I will be modelling different process configurations, utilising process simulation software such as Aspen HYSYS and Aspen Plus. Overall, my work will primarily contribute towards integrating carbon capture and utilisation technology to the metallurgy industry.
 
 
 

Lewis Tuck

Lewis Tuck

PhD: Optimising the process for converting biochar derived from sewage sludge into marketable activated carbon products.

Supervisors:  Prof Colin Snape and Dr Miguel Castro Diaz 

Research Summary
Activated carbon is a highly porous material used for filtration, purification, storage etc. Any carbonaceous substance can be treated to produce activated carbon, creating a useful commercial product from low value waste streams e.g. sewage sludge. The transformation requires two stages. Hydrothermal carbonization is a new method to concentrate the carbon constituent by replicating the natural coalification process under aqueous conditions. The output can then be activated physically or chemically which opens up the structure and clears the networks. The difficulty activating sewage sludge comes from the high ash content which has limited the surface area to 600m2/g.
 
 
 

charlotte Tutton

Charlotte Tutton

PhD: EngD Carbon Capture Storage and Cleaner Fossil Energy.

Supervisors:  Prof. Colin Snape and Prof. Helen West

Research Summary
The aim of my project is to evaluate the potential of amending soil with different chars as a mean of carbon sequestration. It will entail making chars from different feedstocks, chemically analysing those chars and determining how and if the chars react when buried in the soil. As well as trying to understand what effects the chars have on the soil and life in the soil and how these affect the plants growing in that soil.
 
 
 
Haomin WANG

Haomin WANG

PhD: Micro and macro scale analysis of thermochemical storage materials for seasonal solar heat storage.

Supervisors: Prof. Yupeng Wu and Dr Chenggong Sun

Research Summary
In the 21st century, developing renewable energy technologies is one of the most popular topics due to the energy shortage. Solar energy possesses the advantages of abundant, universal and environmental friendly, which is a suitable option for renewable energy development. However, the unstable/unpredictable solar energy supply as well as the mismatch between the energy supply/usage make the direct use of solar energy impossible. This project aims to find out suitable thermochemical storage materials for seasonal energy storage in domestic conditions. In detail, micro and macro scale experiments will be conducted together for a better convincing result. 
 
 
 

Shaoboo Wang

Shaobo Wang

PhD: Multi-pollutants capture and Microwave-assisted Simultaneous Regeneration/Conversion.

Supervisors:  Dr Chenggong SunProf Colin Snape and Prof Hao Liu

Research Summary
The removal of multiple pollutants or gas impurities, such as SOx, NOx and H2S, present in either industrial flue gas or product gas streams has long been a major challenge in clean production. The conventional pollutant control technologies show out-of-date performance and low cost-effectiveness. Alternatively, this project is to develop an innovative microwave-facilitated solid adsorbent-based multi-pollutants capture and conversion system. The research focus/scope can be divided into two parts. One is the novel adsorption capture process while another is the simultaneous regeneration/conversion. 
 
 
 

Ana Isabel Weir 

Ana Isabel Weir

PhD: Bio-bitumen thermochemical production and properties.

Supervisors:  Prof Colin SnapeProf Gordon Airey and Ana Jimenez del Barco Carrion

Research Summary
There is a drive to seek alternatives to petroleum-based feedstocks across the chemical industry and this includes bitumen as a binder in asphalt pavements. This research involves investigating various biomass feedstocks (i.e. algae, paper and plastic waste) by thermal processing to generate high boiling material in high yield (bio-binders) and evaluate their chemical and rheological properties. The objective is to characterize the bio-binders and evaluate their performance as an alternative to bitumen in asphalt pavements. The results from the research will be used to design a pilot plant for bio-bitumen in order to test sufficient quantities under real life conditions and, ultimately, to provide design information for a full-scale plant. 
 
 
 
Oisin Ryley Meagher Wilson

Oisin Ryley Meagher Wilson

PhD: Delivering an Energy Flexible Heating System: Storing heat in legacy coal mine infrastructure.

Supervisors: Dr Robin Irons and Dr Alison Mohr

Research Summary
Research Engineer for the EPSRC Centre for Resilient Decarbonised Fuel Energy Systems at Nottingham University, working with Cultivate Innovation to explore the opportunities and challenges of increasing energy flexibility as we transition to Net Zero Emissions. Specifically looking into how we can use Heat Networks and Underground Thermal Energy Storage in the UK's disused coal mines. My work feeds into a national effort to find ways to decarbonise the energy sector, and heating in-particular, in the move towards Net Zero by 2050.
 
 
 
Yuexing Yang

Yuexing Yang

PhD: Cloud classification with spectral method in Solar irradiance forecasting system.

Supervisors:   Prof. Yupeng Wu, Dr. Robin Wilson and Dr. John Calautit.

Research Summary
My research project is eventually aiming at using the spectral method in cloud cover modelling to classify the clouds and determine the transmissivity, which is a crucial process in ground-based solar irradiance forecasting.
 
 
 

Low Carbon Energy and Resources Technologies

Energy Technologies Building
The University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus, NG7 2TU


telephone: +44 (0) 115 84 68661
email:LCERT@nottingham.ac.uk